Print is still here, but it won’t save journalism

The cost of a full-page weekday ad in the print edition of the LA Times, reaching 500,000 people is about $50,000.

The cost of a ad on LATimes.com to reach the same 500,000 people is about $7,000.

The cost of an ad reaching 500,000 people that’s served up by Google and appears on LATimes.com can be as little as $20.

Looking at those figures, it’s easy to see why companies have all but moved completely to web-based advertising.

The problem is two-fold: First, when you pay for a subscription to a print product, you almost certainly read it… cover-to-cover. When you view web pages for news, you almost certainly either block the ads, or have grown so used to them that you don’t even see them. So while it’s cheaper to advertise on the web, it is my opinion that most companies are throwing their money away. They fall in love with social media shares/likes, click-through rates, page views, and a host of other analytics—but they fail to accept the only number that counts: sales!

The second problem is that due to the first, journalism has devolved into click-bait producing bloggers being paid $25 per post to “report the news.” They do this because they can’t afford to pay real journalists to investigate stories and spend time crafting something worth paying for. And because of that, I’m not willing to pay for it.

It’s a vicious circle.

Free vector art: Camera icons

Camera vector icons

Download this set of 36 camera vector icons (2.2MB), perfect for your website, logo or print designs. The set has been made available exclusively to Graphic Mac readers by Vandaley Design.

The camera icons come in AI, EPS, SVG, PNG and PSD format.

Be sure to check out the thousands of Vandaley Design’s PSDs, vector art, textures, templates and other resources—all affordably priced starting at just $10 per month.

Adobe Illustrator’s hidden gem: Width Tool

Illustrator's Width Tool
Illustrator's Width Tool iconAdobe Illustrator has an awesome tool that I’m willing to bet most designers have never used. The Width Tool (pictured at right) allows you to adjust the width of paths—not just the entire path as a whole, but the parts of the path between handles independently (see the image above for examples normal paths, and the same path adjusted with the Width Tool). Adjustments can be made to any path, including outlined fonts.

For the full scoop check out Getting a Handle on Illustrator’s Width Tool over at Creative Pro

Free font: Badhead

Badhead font

Badhead is a fresh looking font, perfect for branding, greeting cards, logotypes, or any design with a strong and elegant touch.

The OpenType version of the font offers a ton of alternate characters and stylistic alternates.

Uplet brings Instagram uploads to the Mac

UpsetI have a love/hate relationship with social media services and apps. There’s something about every one of them that I dislike. In the case of Instagram, the limitation of only being able to upload images via the smartphone app has always driven me crazy. Why Instagram doesn’t at least offer a web upload option is beyond me. I was at the point where I found myself using Instagram less and less when the folks at Eltima offered me the opportunity to try Uplet—their new app that allows you to upload images to Instagram right from your Mac.

Uplet helps you share multiple photos with one click, while keeping their resolution and quality. There are multiple advantages to using Uplet on your Mac vs. the official Instagram app on your smartphone. For starters, I find it much easier to find the pictures I want to upload using OS X’s Photos app than the iPhone counterpart. Second, I can type photo captions much faster on my Mac’s keyboard than I can even on my iPhone 6s Plus. And finally, while the Instagram app on my phone can only upload one photo at a time, Uplet allows you to upload as many images as you wish, all with one click (see warning at the end of this article).

Pros:

Using Uplet is simple. You drag one or more images into the main window (or click the + button and add them via a standard dialog box. Once the image(s) display in the window, you click the Add Caption icon.

Upset app
The window switches to edit mode where you type in your photo caption, clicking on the navigation arrows to move between images. It’s also where you can crop your images before uploading. You do this simply by dragging the image around to move it left, right, up or down. Clicking the double arrows in the lower left corner reduces the image to fit in the window, or enlarging it.

Uplet Instagram uploader
When you’re finished cropping and adding captions you click the Share All button and you’re done. The images upload and post to Instagram fairly quickly, depending on the size and resolution of your images.

Cons:

There’s only one thing about Uplet that I don’t like, it’s the way cropping works. It’s extremely limiting. If you have a tall image, Uplet sets the full width of the image leaving your only option to move the image up or down to crop. If your image is wide, Uplet sets the full height and you can only slide it side to side. You can’t zoom in to crop a specific area of an image the way you can in the Instagram app (or any other image editor).

Unfortunately, Uplet doesn’t currently support uploading of videos, nor can you apply native Instagram filters to your images. But Eltima states that they are working on adding both to the app. Disappointing to be sure, but this is a 1.0 release.

Warning:

Uplet is not sanctioned by Instagram, which doesn’t allow bulk uploading, let alone directly from your Mac. Uplet doesn’t use the official Instagram API. There’s a lengthy explanation and warning on the Eltima site to explain how Upset works and what you can do to avoid being banned by Instagram.

The gist of it is this: Instagram allows you to upload only 100 photos in a 24-hour period. Don’t push your luck. Only upload unique photos, and make sure your captions aren’t strictly a copy/paste—each one should be unique as well. Also, you should only use the app on one Mac, and not while you’re also using it on your phone.

It all sounds scary, but when you think about, it’s all common sense.

Final thoughts:

If you want to upload a lot of existing photos from your Mac to Instagram, Uplet is a bargain at only $4.99.

I’ve been using Uplet for a few weeks with no issues, and found it a pleasure to use. I’m looking forward to future versions with filters added on.